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Discussion Starter #1
My not-Honda, six-year-old replacement battery is bottoming out at small hills and today I got the first IMA warning. Time to replace? Where do you get a replacement?
 

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You can make your own for under $50. A grid charger is, in a nut shell, a 180-200v 300-500ma power supply which you connect to two terminals on the battery, and a 12v power supply to run the cooling fan. You need a wire stripper, a couple of spade terminals (for the high voltage battery) and two wire splices (for the fan). There are plans available on here.

Alternatively, there are options available on eBay between $150 and $600. They're basically the above two power supplies placed together in a case, along with a volt meter and (for the more expensive ones) a timer or other circuitry to allow for automatic shutoff or scheduling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bumblebee?

I am not keen on chargers. Apparently they work for some and not others. I'll probably be one of the "others." The Bumblebee batteries appear to be affordable. Any opinions?
 

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If you get a bumblebee battery, they strongly advise getting a charger with it to keep it healthy.

Honda's IMA system cannot effectively keep the cells balanced. Once the cells are out of balance, the ones with higher charge get overcharged and cooked when you regen, and the ones with lower charger get over-drained. Over time, this damages them. A grid charge can bring them back into balance and prevent further damage, but it can't reverse damage already done.
 

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If not experience with Ima battery ,get help,it can shock you,I see your in Cali,there's a great shop in Covina that can help you,,ask for Scott.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bumblebee sells two fancy chargers...

Thanks Ecky for that information. I am then happy that my IMA of unvetted provenance performed so well for so long without any charger help.
I am envisioning a trip to Bumblebee's Portland shop to get a new battery installed. Bumblebee has good reviews and no negative reviews that I can see. I am fishing here for reports from forum users that may have availed themselves of their products and services or know others who have... Thanks.
 

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My knowledge of bumblebee is that they're as good as you can get with an aftermarket battery, but they're not as good as the originals were. There are reports that some people see failure in as little as 3-5 years with the new batteries. I can't say what the average is, maybe they're just outliers, and maybe that's as long as you'll need the battery to last. Regardless, it will be worlds better than any battery throwing a code.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Honda hybrid442

The shop was mentioned in this forum some time ago. I seem to recall it is in West Covina. Do you have the shop's name? Google has too many choices.
 

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Call Scott at Jue Motors in Covina. 909-605-3810.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Ecky

That is a sobering thought on replacement longevity. Bumblebee has a 3-year warranty with option to purchase a 2-year extension. That seems to agree with your sources. So, maybe figure $1K a year in battery replacement costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Rainsux

Off to the mechanic shops I go...
West Covina: 8 Google hours from home. Hot and crowded roads.
Portland: 10 Google hours from home. Cooler and less crowded. Decisions...

I watched the YouTube™ video giving the precise instructions for replacing the old IMA with a new IMA. I now see why my local mechanic charged me a pile of $$$ for the "easy" procedure.
 

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So, maybe figure $1K a year in battery replacement costs.
1k can buy 300 gallon of gas in where I live, that's 9,000 of miles at 30mpg...


I don't think I'd be driving my Insight at $1k per year IMA battery cost, thus, I drive my Insight with IMA bypassed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks tryngbe

Yes, the expense is a bit ridiculous but I get to boast of my 57.1 "lifetime" MPG. (Generally to people who do not even know or care what MPG means.)

Could you tell me more about the results of driving with a bypassed IMA?
 

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The IMA system gives a huge boost to torque at low RPM. Below 2,000, it's probably a 50-100% increase in power. Without it, it's a bit easier to stall the car, and people who bypass tend to rev it a lot more. For the time I had mine bypassed I found I was revving to 4k when in traffic rather than 2k, to maintain similar acceleration.

Fuel economy doesn't actually suffer much. City goes down a bit, highway doesn't go down much at all, if any. The car isn't dangerous without it by any stretch of the imagination, just slow. It's not nearly as fun. I could probably still enjoy the car if I lived somewhere more flat.

Auto stop is disabled, and the car starts with its backup 12v starter. Otherwise, just expect to spend more time in lower gears.
 

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That is a sobering thought on replacement longevity. Bumblebee has a 3-year warranty with option to purchase a 2-year extension. That seems to agree with your sources. So, maybe figure $1K a year in battery replacement costs.
I've bought Dorman and Hybrid Revolt batteries. HR has a 1 year warranty battery for $1300. I can't image they would use different quality sticks for their 3 or 5 year warranty models which is really just an insurance policy. Chances are if it lasts for the first year, it doesn't have any bad cells and will go for years. And if it lasts 5 years it's like $260 a year. And it's likely to last much longer. For example, the Honda battery in mine is 9 years old and only now starting to give trouble.
 

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Auto stop is disabled,
That's the main reason I want a working battery in any Insight I drive. N. Vermont probably doesn't have much traffic, but around here I love to have the engine off at a stop light or in a traffic jam. And that happens too often.
 
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